Hi,I have a question about writing up an employee of mine. She is pretty new, about three weeks ago she started with us. She came in with a fever last couple days (I was away those days) and got a call from other employees upset she wouldn’t leave when they asked her to bc she had a fever. I came in today and asked her to go home but she didn’t want to bc she said she felt fine. But I said, if you have a fever and are making everyone uncomfortable, you need to go home. She grabbed her stuff and yelled, you guys are ugly! I pulled her aside and said she would be written up for this. Should I write her up or let her off with a warning? She has since called and apologized and regrets it. I am unsure as to what to do at this point.
A few things in your post concern me. 1) It appears you have an employee who doesn’t respect others enough to go home when she has a fever (and might get them sick). 2) When you address this issue with her she disrespects you. In most states, the AT WILL employment doctrine is valid, therefore I would urge you to consider terminating before her negative attitude infects your workplace.
However, if that seems severe, take a look at your employee handbook (if you don’t have one, consider using our template and create one asap). Your employee handbook should clarify your disciplinary policy, as well as list prohibited behaviors, such as coming to work with a fever or yelling at your employer.
It sounds like you’re kind-hearted.
Nonetheless, your failure to address the issue proactively will only set you up for more misbehavior in the future — either by her, or by others watching her get away with ugly behavior at work. Therefore, to answer your question, of the two choices, definitely write up the entire incident. Then document it in her file, after you discuss it with her. Make it clear that next time … she’s gone. I’ve attached a sample disciplinary policy to consider using going forward.
If she sues you for wrongful termination, you’ll be able to show that 1) she violated company policies and 2) had been warned.
HR Writer, SPHR
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